Monday, 21 September 2015 – SIJ Group in co-operation with NTF OMM and IMT establishes a Competency Center for innovative metal materials.
The SIJ Group has combined the competencies of its Development Departments in Acroni, Metal Ravne and Elektrode with the knowledge of the Institute of Metals and Technology (IMT) and the Department of Materials and Metallurgy (OMM) at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering (NTF). The goal is to promote and upgrade the rich developmental activities in these companies and complement them with knowledge and special competencies of scientific research institutes and higher education organizations. In the first phase the consortium's operation will be focused on the development of nickel alloys, known as maraging steels and the implementation of 3D printing, as well as heat and surface treatment of steel with hydrogen plasma. In all listed cases high-end technologies and products will be used, with the help of which the SIJ Group will be able to improve its market positions and, foremost, develop materials and alloys of the future.
By exploiting the consortium's intellectual and competitive opportunities the company aims to set new developmental paths for the SIJ Group and attract new partners including scientific research institutes and other partners in the metal processing industry. Great potential also lies in the use of other materials such as aluminum, titanium etc. In the light of re-industrialization, Europe has recognized metallurgy as one of the key strategic fields which nowadays represents one of the strongest technological sectors in Europe. Within those sectors the steel industry is one of the most important sectors for the European economy and its competitiveness, mostly in the transport, construction and energy sectors. It is of key importance for the future of Europe and its citizens to maintain an innovative and competitive steel industry.
In Slovenia metallurgy, particularly steel production and processing, represents a significant share of gross domestic product. This industry also generates many jobs (the metallurgy and metal processing industries in Slovenia employ over 80,000 people) and the SIJ Group has recorded an added value per employee that is 60% above the industry average. In order to keep up with the rapid development in Europe it is important to be innovative and constantly invest in new product development. SIJ can only become successful by creating new value chains by joining different competencies of education and research organizations and strong industrial partners.
The SIJ Group is the largest Slovenian vertically integrated metallurgist group, ranked among the top market positions in the European and world niche steel markets. The Group comprises five business areas, has 22 affiliated companies in Europe and the USA, and employs 3,200 people.
In 2014 the SIJ Group generated EUR 707.8 million in revenues, a 7% increase in comparison with 2013. The EBITDA increased by 91% reaching EUR 77.8 million. The 11% EBITDA margin that was achieved put the SIJ Group among the most successful world steel producing groups in 2014. The EBIT amounted to EUR 39.6 million and increased by 18 times in comparison with 2013, and net profit was slightly less than EUR 25 million.
Dr. Denis Mancevič, Director of Corporate Communications